Friday, December 18, 2009

Here it is folks. Every year I cart it out and prop it up, and every year I laugh:

Still can't imagine what went into the making of that album cover. "Stand right there, Ray. Now hold this. You look great!" (**snicker, snicker**) The thought of those horses getting suddenly frightened by the likes of the Ghost of Christmas Past and then just racing off into the snow with a blind musician at the reins is the kind of funny stuff holiday comedies are made of.

I actually bought a Christmas album the other day, and thought I'd mention it here, it's so good. Christmas music is one of those things, where you're like, Gawd! I hate Christmas music! But you don't really. You hate the jingly-jangly, over-arching Perry Como stuff that has ten too-many people in the choir and then is played and replayed and played again while you're tethered to the torture table of whatever checkout counter you're at. The stuff that's good is the stuff you're listening to while you're decorating the tree, having a nice cider with a fire going. Or that Vince Guaraldi Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack. Who in the world can reject the Charlie Brown soundtrack? No one. It's perfect.

Charles Schultz was a big jazz fan, and I can't help but wonder if his naming of "Charlie Brown" was at all influenced by Charles Brown, the notable blues singer who was the exact same age as Schultz, and who died at the same time.

Anyway, you can't go wrong spending $9.99 on iTunes for this album:

I was going to say that it surpassed my love for the B.B. King holiday album, "A Christmas Celebration of Hope" and then I realized that it's nearly the same set of songs. I guess there's not a lot of bluesey holiday stuff out there, so these masters of the genre are stuck reworking the same material. Anyway, the musicianship in both of them is terrific. You'll love them. Buy now.

(Charles Brown wrote the original "Please Come Home for Christmas" by the way, and it was a big hit for him in 1960, and so was later copied by Jon Bon Jovi and The Eagles and nearly everyone else.)

Have a blue Christmas this weekend. That's not a bad thing.